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Sox On 35th’s 2022 White Sox Draft Predictions

by Jordan Lazowski

Sunday, July 17 starts the 2022 MLB Draft, and here at Sox On 35th, we took some time out to make our predictions.

The White Sox have the 26th pick in the first round of this year’s draft, and unlike last year, it’s not completely clear who they will draft. Will they follow up last year’s prep pick with another one in Tucker Toman? Will they instead shift and supplement their farm system with a more polished college arm? Could we see them revert back to drafting a college bat? Our crew makes their predictions on all of this below.

Additionally, you can find our draft preview article here with detailed write-ups of 12 of the possible picks by the White Sox at No. 26 Sunday night.

For now, let’s get into the predictions!

Jordan Lazowski | Editor-in-Chief

Prediction: Gabriel Hughes, RHP, Gonzaga

As you’ll see based on the variety of picks amongst our own staff, the White Sox have been tied to everyone this year. Well-known sites for draft coverage have not, and likely will not, agree on a consensus pick for the team heading into the draft. There are rumors that the White Sox have identified (correctly) that pitching depth is a current weak spot in the system. While you never draft primarily based on need, there are so many strong college arms this year that it doesn’t feel like they would be doing that.

Drafting Hughes would give a jolt to the pitching depth with a power pitcher and competitor who is both young and polished. He could be a quick riser through the system, and in terms of dollars, would likely allow the Sox to shift to a prep bat (Roman Anthony?) in the second round should they choose to do so.

Honorable Mentions: Tucker Toman (3B, Hammond HS), Connor Prielipp (LHP, Alabama), Drew Gilbert (OF, Tennessee). I like Prielipp the most, but doubt he will be available. Toman is the obvious choice if the Sox choose the prep route again, but it is unclear if they’re actually going to go that route. A wildcard here: Cade Horton, who is risky without a track record, but has top 10 pick potential in the mid-to-late-20s.

Nik Gaur | Managing Editor

Prediction: Tucker Toman, 3B, Hammond HS (Columbia, South Carolina)

Despite recent whispers of the White Sox going with a college pitcher here, I still feel most comfortable projecting another prep hitter. Last year’s lefty prep hitter picks, Colson Montgomery and Wes Kath, have had encouraging starts to their professional careers. Toman, a switch-hitter, is another high school player with solid power potential. He may eventually need to move from the infield to a corner outfield spot depending on his development, but he is the exact type of high-ceiling bat the White Sox have targeted lately.

Tim Moran | Analyst

Prediction: Jackson Ferris, LHP, IMG Academy (Mount Airy, FL)

As has been noted many times by analysts, the White Sox took a different approach than usual in the first round of the 2021 Draft. Chicago selected a high school bat in shortstop Colson Montgomery, and that seems to be panning out very well so far. Thus, it’s easy to see the Sox going in many different directions Sunday night, as the organization seems likely to embrace the “best talent available” method. That said, there is a dearth of quality pitching in the White Sox farm system right now, and I feel that Rick Hahn, Chris Getz, and Co. will address that. Based on the “best talent” mindset, they should have no qualms with a high school pitcher, and I think the best available arm at pick No. 26 will be Jackson Ferris, a lefty out of IMG Academy.

Ferris sports dominant stats over the past two years, allowing just one extra-base hit over 392 batters faced. He pumps a 94-96 mph fastball and demonstrates control over both a curveball and changeup. The southpaw could benefit from adding a couple of ticks to his velocity, but strengthening his lanky 6’4”, 190 lb. frame should be no problem. Ideally, Ferris would boost a farmhand pitching core whose only bright spot currently is 22-year-old righty Norge Vera.

Noah Phalen | Contributor

Prediction: Drew Gilbert, OF, Tennessee

This year is quite a bit different for the White Sox than last year, even though their draft position is quite similar. I could see them going any number of ways with this pick. As an organization, they need to get more left-handed on both sides of the ball. Gilbert fits the bill as a lefty bat, and Rick Hahn reportedly traveled down to Tennessee to watch him play a couple of months ago. Gilbert is also from the Midwest (Minnesota), where the White Sox are known to heavily scout, and previously played for the White Sox Area Code team.

I’m not sure Gilbert makes it to 26, but if he does, it makes too much sense to pass on him.

Thatcher Zalewski | Contributor

Prediction: Tucker Toman, 3B, Hammond HS (Columbia, South Carolina)

The White Sox should continue replenishing the farm with prep bats, and they will likely have the chance to do that here with Tucker Toman. Toman is a switch-hitting third baseman who is only 18 years old. In him, the Sox would add another high-upside prep bat who could see the same trajectory as Colson Montgomery. Another reason the Sox could select Toman is his ability to barrel the ball from both sides, as the White Sox don’t have many top switch-hitting prospects going forward. Toman has the upside to be a plus bat from both sides of the plate as he continues to develop in the minor leagues.

Nico Andrade | Contributor

Prediction: Drew Gilbert, OF, Tennessee

My pick for the Sox to take at #26 might be the obvious one, but it’s Drew Gilbert. I think he has a lot of upside as a left-handed bat that is a bit more polished than some of the prep options that are popular at this pick. The biggest worry I have is whether or not he will still be on the board at pick #26. If he is, then I think the White Sox will view him as an opportunity too good to pass up here.

Lefty pop is something that the Sox need, and the fact that he’s a lefty bat that plays outfield is a huge bonus! 

As a reminder, the draft starts Sunday, July 17, at 6:00 PM CT. You can watch it on either ESPN or MLB Network. Given that the Sox pick 26th, keep in mind that it might be a little while after 6:00 before the White Sox are actually able to make their pick.

Draft night is always an exciting night for an organization – it brings new hope for stars of the future. Hopefully, a new star finds his way to the south side of Chicago this evening.

Who do you think the Sox will draft tonight? Let us know on Twitter or leave a comment below!

Featured Image: sportslogos.net

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